Kildare 0-15 Wicklow 1-10
Kildare were pushed all the way by Wicklow in the sides first-round meeting at Dr Cullen Park on Saturday evening. The Lilywhites just getting over the line by two points, 0-15 to 1-10.
Kildare took a 0-09 to 0-04 lead in at the break and looked to be in full control of the game. They actually led by 7 points at one stage in the second period, however, a goal from Darren Hayden late on in the second half made Cian O’Neill’s charges sweat until the final minute when Neill Flynn kicked a vital free.
Kildare looked the better of the two teams early on in the first half. Adam Tyrrell missed an early free, however, Ben McCormack and Tyrrell then kicked over points to take an early 0-02 to 0-00 lead. Wicklow managed by Kerry native John Evans got back on level terms though with Patrick O’Connor and Mark Kenny kicking superb points. McCormack, however, kicked Kildare back in front from out near the sidelines on 11 minutes, it was 0-03 to 0-02. Kenny kicked another for Wicklow to make it 0-03 to 0-03 but Kildare took complete control then, Wicklow failing to score in the next 20 minutes.
Adam Tyrrell, Paddy Brophy and Eoghan O’Flaherty kicked points to extend the lead. Kevin Feehly was starting to dominate in midfield. Kildare kicked a further 3 points in a row with them all coming from O’Flaherty. Kildare should have been more ahead but poor shooting let them down. Conor McGraynor finished the scoring for the half on 32 minutes and Kildare went in 0-9 to 0-4 ahead.
Theo Smith got second-half proceedings off to a good start for Wicklow with a good point. However, Kildare would go on to kick three points in a row with Tyrrell, Conway and Hyland putting them 0-12 to 0-05 to the good. The sides traded scores with two Adam Tyrrell frees cancelled out with scores from Padraig O’Toole and Dean Healy. Wicklow hit a bit of form then in the last few minutes to put Kildare under pressure. Darren Hayden netting a goal, before Patrick O’Connor cut the gap further. Wicklow then kicked a few wides before Neill Flynn went on to seal the game in injury time.
Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Mark Dempsey, Mark Hyland, David Hyland (0-01), Peter Kelly, Eoin Doyle, Keith Cribbin, Kevin Feely, Fergal Conway (0-01), David Slattery, Ben McCormack (0-02), Eoghan O’Flaherty (0-04, 2f, 1 45), Adam Tyrrell (0-05, 4f), Paddy Brophy (0-01), Jimmy Hyland.
Subs: Cian O’Donoghue for Cribbin 48 mins, Neil Flynn (0-01f) for O’Flaherty 48 mins, Conor Hartley for McCormack 56 mins, Tommy Moolick for Slattery 60 mins, Jason Gibbons for Tyrrell 68 mins.
Wicklow: Mark Jackson (0-01); Eoin Murtagh, Ross O’Brien, Jamie Snell, David Deveraux, Shane Mooney, Darragh Fitzgerald, Dean Healy (0-01), Padraig O’Toole (0-01), Darren Hayden (1-00), Anthony McLoughlin, Theo Smith (0-01), Mark Kenny (0-02), Conor McGraynor (0-1f), Patrick O’Connor (0-02).
Subs: Cathal McGee for McLoughlin h-t, Chris O’Brien for McGraynor 45 mins, Oisin Manning for Mooney 46 mins, Daniel Keane (0-01) for Hayden 68 mins, Saoirse Kieron for O’Toole 70 mins.